Documentary ‘Street Heroines’ Sharing Untold Stories Of Female Graffiti Artists Around The World


When you think of world-famous street artists, do names like Banksy or Shepard Fairey immediately come to mind? These two men have certainly had their fair share of media coverage globally in order to become household names. Similar to the traditional art world, street artistry is typically very male-dominated. One woman is setting out to change that perception with a documentary showcasing the world of badass female graffiti artists and unearthing their stories in a spectacularly visual way.

Alexandra Henry is the director, cinematographer and producer of ‘Street Heroines’, a feature length documentary that has been 3 years in the making. She has traveled to more than 10 countries, and interviewed over 20 women about their artistry. Having successfully raised just over $55,000 in a Kickstarter campaign (where she originally sought $53k) she hopes to bring some amazing stories to wider audience in early 2017.

As many of you know, we love using our platform to promote female-driven projects, especially when they focus on stories of women who are using their resources, talents and platforms to advocate for important messages. As shared on her Kickstarter campaign page, Alexandra comes from a film production background and is familiar with the power of film to enlighten people about a subject matter they did not necessarily know about before.


Along with capturing their creativity and courage in their artwork, Alexandra wants people to know about the struggles some of these women face in this subculture largely driven by men. This documentary is a first-of-its kind film that weaves together a particular type of art and activism, where many of these women are incorporating messages around gender equality, human rights and sexism.

In the trailer below, artist Lady Pink from NYC, the first woman to paint entire subway train cars in the 1980s, shares some of the misogyny she has had to put up with in her career.

“‘You can’t climb that ladder because you’re a girl’. What?! You need a penis to climb a ladder? Does it help you hold on?” she says in what is easily our favorite part of the trailer below.

“Graffiti has been a guy’s game from the beginning,” says another artist, which is exactly the kind of narrative both the women featured and the film itself are hoping to change.


“While each of their personal stories is unique, their observations clearly reveal the struggle for creative space, and a lack of recognition faced by women working within this male dominated subculture…’Street Heroines’ will follow artists such as TooFly (NYC/ECUADOR), Magrela (Brazil) and Fusca (Mexico), whose art offers solutions to issues such as gender disparity, sexual harassment and human rights violations. Filming artists who use graffiti and street art to change their local culture, ‘Street Heroines’ reveals our common ground by sharing their experience, strength and hope,” says a description on the Kickstarter page.

We have seen the way street artistry has been used by women in the unlikeliest of countries to change social and cultural gender narratives in their communities. This graffiti artist collective from Egypt called Women On Walls uses the streets as a canvas to share revolutionary messages of gender equality in a place that has suffered great political upheaval throughout the Arab Spring.

Shamsia Hassani from Afghanistan, said to be the country’s first female graffiti artist, is turning bleak building structures into an opportunity to share her messages around feminism and hope in a place that in many ways is still recovering from the oppressive rule of the Taliban, even in its current Democratic system.


These women are out there courageously forging ahead with their art despite not necessarily getting the kind of fanboy/fangirl treatment people like Banksy or Shepard Fairey are used to getting. With the release of Alexandra’s forthcoming documentary, this could drastically change the way the world looks at street art forever, and we certainly hope it will inspire other graffiti artists and creative women to not give up what they are doing.

“The powerful storytelling of ‘Street Heroines’ highlights an untapped source of cultural and artistic influence. With so much to say about female identity and perspective, this multi-generational documentary aims to empower more women to explore their artistic tendencies and continue to generate social change,” says the Kickstarter campaign description.

While we eagerly await the film’s release, you can take a look at the website, have your newsfeed filled with more amazing artwork by following their Facebook Page, or follow ‘Street Heroines’ on Twitter and Instagram. If the trailer leaves you wanting more, Alexandra has edited a number of short vignettes on some of the featured women which you can watch on her Vimeo Channel.

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